FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 27, 2007
MAYOR BLOOMBERG AND FIRE COMMISSIONER SCOPPETTA DEDICATE MEMORIAL PLAQUE IN HONOR OF LIEUTENANT HOWARD CARPLUK AND FIREFIGHTER MICHAEL REILLY
Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg and Fire Commissioner Nicholas Scoppetta today joined colleagues, family members, and friends of New York City Fire Department Lieutenant Howard J. Carpluk Jr. and Firefighter Michael C. Reilly to honor their memories at a plaque dedication ceremony at Engine Company 75, Ladder 33 and Battalion 19 in the Bronx. On August 27, 2006, Lieutenant Carpluk and Firefighter Reilly responded to a third-alarm fire in the Mount Eden section of the Bronx. Firefighter Reilly, 25, of Engine Company 75, was a probationary firefighter who graduated from the fire academy on July 6, 2006. Lieutenant Carpluk, 43, of Engine Company 42, was a 20-year veteran of the Department and succumbed to his injuries the day after the blaze.
“When other members of the FDNY pass by Firefighter Reilly’s plaque in Engine 75 and Lieutenant Carpluk’s plaque in Engine 42, those who never had a chance to meet them will know of their extraordinary service to our City,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “Today, we celebrate the lives of two incredible men who have taken their place among the great heroes in the history of the New York City Fire Department. We will never forget what Howie and Michael have done for us.”
“Firefighter Michael Reilly was a standout proby with a deep desire to succeed in the FDNY and Lieutenant Howard Carpluk was an experienced veteran who earned the admiration of many colleagues with his willingness to lead by example,” said Commssioner Scoppetta. “These plaques are here to serve as an ever-lasting reminder of their ultimate sacrifice and the strong commitment they both shared to protect New Yorkers at any time, at any cost. May their great courage and dedication to this Department and our City never be forgotten.”
On Sunday August 27, 2006, at 12:29 pm, firefighters responded to a call at 1575 Walton Avenue for a fire in a one-story commercial building. The blaze quickly grew to three alarms. FDNY units entered the building to search for victims when a collapse occurred. Lieutenant Carpluk and Firefighter Reilly became trapped along with three other members of the Fire Department.
During his 20-year career, Lieutenant Carpluk was awarded two citations for bravery, including one award for a heroic rescue on March 30, 1988, when he saved the lives of two unconscious men he found in the bedroom of a fire-engulfed apartment in the Bronx. Lieutenant Carpluk is survived by his wife Debra, his 11-year-old daughter Paige and his 15-year-old son Bradley.
Firefighter Reilly was appointed to the FDNY on April 11, 2006, and spent 13 weeks in the fire academy before being assigned to Engine Company 75. He joined the United States Marine Corps in 2000 and was a Sergeant in the Marine Reserves. Firefighter Reilly is survived by his mother Monica, father Michael, brother Kevin and sister Erin.
On May 29, 2007, Mayor Bloomberg signed into law a bill that requires the New York City Department of Buildings to notify the FDNY when a permit for certain types of alterations is issued to a building. The law will provide firefighters with more information about a building they are about to enter when fighting a fire.
Stu Loeser / Jason Post (212) 788-2958
Francis X. Gribbon (Fire Department)
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